Senate animal shelter battle postponed

Legislation limiting the services offered by nonprofit animal shelters and mobile veterinary clinics was carried over Tuesday in the state Senate.

COLUMBIA — The fight over a bill that would restrict services offered at nonprofit animal shelters and related mobile clinics was bumped to another day.

More than 75 advocates from the Charleston area joined dozens of others at the Statehouse on Tuesday to rally against the bill in anticipation of a key vote. The bill, which is on the Senate calendar, however, was carried over and could be heard or voted on at any time.

Denise Wilkinson, CEO of the Columbia-based Pawmetto Lifeline, said her nonprofit group, which provides services for rescued pets, will continue to oppose the bill she said benefits for-profit veterinarians.

“It should be up to the individual to decide who provides care for their pets,” Wilkinson said. “As long as the shelter has a South Carolina-licensed veterinarian, let the individual make that choice.”

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If the proposal is to survive it needs to pass the Senate by the first week of May in order to be considered by the House before the legislative session ends in June.